by John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
May 3, 2015
No longer speaking in parables in Mark 4:35-41, Jesus showed His disciples that He is Lord of all creation in this story of the storm.
In His weariness from speaking to the crowd and performing miracles, Jesus requested the disciples take him by boat to the other side of the lake, and He fell asleep. A “furious squall” came up in the Sea of Galilee, which is particularly susceptible to sudden, violent storms by its geography.
Jesus surprised the disciples by calming the storm with his words “Quiet! Be still!” (Mark 4:39), and by rebuking his disciples for their fear and lack of faith, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). The disciples’ reaction showed that they were ultimately more afraid of Jesus than the storm: “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him (Mark 4:41).
Observations of this story relating to our lives:
I. Jesus is the Lord of the storm.
Although Jesus had shown those who would believe that He had the power to heal the sick, He now took this Lordship to a whole new level of controlling nature itself by speaking a couple of words and calming a storm.
Jesus was clearly showing His deity and sovereignty over creation, as God had done so many times before in the Old Testament in such lives as Noah, Moses, and Elijah. King David in Psalm 107:23-31 wrote of God’s power to affect and restore nature itself through a parallel story about the Lord calming a storm.
II. Jesus is the Lord of My storm.
Jesus calls us to look at His authority in calming the sea, and see that He has the same authority to intervene in the “storms” of our lives, e.g. storms of relationships, faith, health, etc. We need recognize that we need help, and trust our issues to Jesus if we are in a storm today.
Jesus’ authority as Lord is a double-edged sword: Although he stilled the storm, Jesus was also the one controlling nature, permitting the storm to exist in the first place and leading His disciples into the storm. God never initiates pain or suffering. Sometimes storms are of our own making, sometimes of unknown causes, but sometimes they come to us from our obedience.
III. Jesus used the storm to create deeper faith.
In His serious rebuke to the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40), Jesus was showing his frustration at their cowardice. By crying out, “Don’t you care..?” (Mark 4:38), the disciples showed no understanding of their Lord who had just been provoking religious authorities with His parables so that He could go to the Cross to show just how much He cared.
Of course Jesus cares. In this story, Jesus showed his exasperation when, in our fears, we refuse to acknowledge His presence and authority over all the storms of our lives. Jesus used the storm to call each of us to a deeper faith, giving us the opportunity to reconsider His identity and authority not only over the Church, but also over all creation.
The Lord of all creation is with us in the fears of pain and suffering, assuring us with His presence and working in us with His power, carrying us in our boat in each storm of life…… because He cares.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)